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Colombia peace process must solve causes of conflict – ELN rebel commander

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Colombia peace process must solve causes of conflict – ELN rebel commander

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BOGOTA – The top commander of Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group, which is exploring a resumption of peace talks with the leftist government, told Reuters any process must seek profound change for all of society and not political power for a few guerrilla commanders.

New President Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 urban guerrillas, has promised to seek “total peace” by fully implementing a 2016 peace deal with the now-demobilized FARC rebels, restarting ELN talks and dialoguing with crime gangs.

“What is essential for a peace process is to overcome the causes which originated the armed conflict, to even think they are overcome with a few (congressional) seats for a handful of rebels would be miserly,” said Eliecer Herlinto Chamorro, better known by his nom de guerre, Antonio Garcia.

Paraguay says ‘excellent’ Taiwan ties not conditional on new investment

ASUNCION/TAIPEI – Paraguay’s foreign ministry has said that the South American country’s diplomatic ties with Taiwan were “excellent” and not conditional on extra investment, amid rising pressure from China to win over the island’s few remaining allies.

Paraguay is one of only 14 nations globally that retains diplomatic ties with Taiwan and the only South American country to do so. China, which considers Taiwan one of its provinces and not a country, has persuaded a number of the island’s allies to shift allegiance in recent years, the last being Nicaragua in December.

The comments came after the Financial Times cited Paraguayan President Mario Abdo as saying the country was seeking $1 billion in investment from Taiwan to maintain ties. Abdo is under pressure from soy and cattle farmers who want access to China. Mexico’s anti-inflation plan could decrease prices, says president

MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday that the government’s anti-inflation plan with food companies will look to stabilize and could even have the effect of decreasing consumer prices.

Earlier this month, Lopez Obrador said he had reached an agreement with companies to maintain prices of basic food items, as annual inflation hovers near a 22-year high of 8.76%.

Mexico to nominate Alicia Barcena to head Inter-American Development Bank

MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the country plans to nominate the former head of the United Nations’ regional economic body Alicia Barcena to head the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Barcena, former executive secretary of ECLAC, the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, would be a candidate to replace the bank’s former president, who was voted out by the its governors following an ethics probe. (Compiled by Steven Grattan; editing by Jonathan Oatis)